Soda bread has long been a staple in Ireland. It is a bread made without yeast, because baking soda mixed with buttermilk is used as a leavening agent. A cross is cut into the top of the bread to help it rise and, according to Irish folklore, to either ward off evil or let the fairies out.
This bread is different from soda bread I baked a couple of years ago, it is more rustic and has earthy flavors. I like it that way, it brings me to an old Irish pub, where you can have a mutton stew with bread and butter and a pint of Guinness.
Makes: 1 loaf
- 2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (I used kefir)
- 2 Tbsp. molasses
Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. In another bowl whisk together buttermilk and molasses. Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment combine together dry and wet ingredients. Knead lightly to a rough dough.
Shape the dough into a circle and place on the lined baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut a deep cross on a top. Cover with kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature for about half hour.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400F and bake for another 25 minute, until the button of the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter.